After going undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, Loyola’s very own Myles Bryant ’16 has quickly made a name for himself in his first professional football season. Shortly after the draft, the New England Patriots made a defensive addition when they picked up the rookie cornerback Bryant.
Introducing Myles Bryant. 📱: https://t.co/jzNh2IYiCT pic.twitter.com/iqux2PYil8
Bryant’s influence has greatly affected many of the current varsity players at Loyola high School, showing how hard work and dedication pays off.
When asked about how he persevered after initially going undrafted, Bryant said, “My motivation just came from within, I knew I could play at the NFL level, and there were many people who believed I couldn’t. So I used those people’s disbelief towards me to give me fuel as I tried to prove them wrong and myself right. It was pretty rewarding to have a spot on the roster, but to me it was just a small step to the path I am working on getting to.”
Running back Tahj Owens ’22 said, “It’s inspiring, especially knowing that he went to the same school as me and went to the same classrooms, weightlifting and practices. It makes me feel like I can do the same thing too.”
Bryant was faced with unforeseen difficulties early on when preseason games were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Typically rookies rely on these preseason games to prove themselves and make an impression on their coaches. Eventually making his debut in the second half of the season, Bryant became a regular option for the Patriots defensively, appearing in seven of the final eight games of the season.
Tight end Joe Taylor ’22 commented, “It was great to see a Cub make a play in the NFL. It let all of us players know that we could have a chance to make it to that level too. It was also cool because I’m a big Patriots fan, so it was good to see a Cub playing for my favorite team.”
Bryant’s biggest play of his rookie season came in week 14 against the Rams at Sofi Stadium. In a low pass to Rams wide receiver Robert Woods, Bryant was able to intercept the ball as they both tumbled to the ground and run it down the sideline to the endzone for a touchdown. However, the touchdown was reversed as Bryant was ruled down by contact following his spectacular interception.
Bryant stated, “During the interception, I was just trying to break on the ball as fast as I could, as well as get off the field on 3rd down. I saw him reaching back for the ball and played through his hands and grabbed the ball.”
Bryant received recognition across social media from veteran teammates who were watching the game at home. The highlight also caught the attention of many football fans at Loyola.
Rick Pedroarias, the Varsity Offensive Line Coach, commented, “I am not surprised that he has succeeded at the University of Washington and with New England. All of his coaches recognized that he was constantly the most valuable player on the field.”
During his time at Loyola, Bryant was a known athlete with very capable abilities, and the Loyola community had high hopes for him at the competitive level.
Dr. Pedroarias added, “He prepared meticulously, used his intelligence, and his ability to excel. I would highlight that second point – Myles may be one of the smartest players I have coached. He mastered so many areas of the game and played so many positions – not easy to do.”
Although Bryant was a bright spot of the Patriots’ defense, the team ended the season with a 7-9 record. Loyola students and alumni are excited to see what’s next for the breakthrough star in the National Football League.
Bryant said, “I think Loyola pushed the envelope of ‘developing the whole person’ so much while I was there and ingrained that into my life. With that philosophy, it has allowed me to strive to be the best version of myself in all aspects of life. It makes me go into the ‘office’ everyday thinking, ‘how can I get the most out of this day,’ that allows me to work my tail off every day. I think there are too many people to name at Loyola who have helped shape me into the person I’ve become. I would like to thank all of my teachers, coaches, and priests, as everyday I try to make them proud of the person they’ve helped shape.”
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